Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Approved: Indian River Planning Area Study going to City Council

Update: 12/22/2021

Great news.   Last night the City Council enthusiastically passed the Indian River Small Area Plan by a 9-0 vote.  Mayor West specifically mentioned all the e-mails that the City Council had received in support of the plan.   Thank you all very much for your support in getting this plan across the finish line. 

But really, this is just the start of the work.  The plan lays out a strong roadmap for implementing the goals it outlines, but making it happen will require persistent engagement with the City and our other partners.  And we will need your continued involvement to make that a success.   Implementing the plan will be a key topic to discuss at our Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 20th, 7 pm.   We hope that you'll be able to join us as we continue this important work.


The Final Draft of the Indian River Planning Area Study has been rescheduled for a Public Hearing by the City Council on Tuesday, Dec 21, 6:30 pm at City Hall.

Tell the City Council that you support the Plan which provides a strong, interconnected combination of actions that, if well implemented, will improve the quality of life of the community.   The plan revitalizes Indian River Road, including the Indian River Shopping Center, and redesigns the road as our "Main Street", preserves and rehabilitates the residential character of our community, provides connections between our neighborhoods, parks, the river, and a new civic campus, and increases the overall environmental quality of the community through increased tree canopy, natural areas and shorelines, and green infrastructure.

Key elements to support in the plan include:

    "Main Street"
  • Redesign Indian River Road to be our “Main Street” including features such as buffered bicycle lanes and  streetscape enhancements to reduce speeding, improve safety, and spur economic activity.
  • Pursue the addition of shopping and restaurant tenants to enhance the “main street” feel of the corridor.  Look at redeveloping Hazel Ct. with a mix of uses that complement its waterfront location
  • Establishing tax-increment financing and/or other incentives to encourage redevelopment of business corridor
  • Work toward redevelopment of the Indian River Shopping Center and possibly surrounding commercial properties into higher density mixed-use development
  • Implement a strong set of actions to encourage and enable the preservation and rehabilitation of the area’s existing residential housing
  • Develop a residential pattern book to provide guidance on the recommended look and design for new development
  • Ensure that infrastructure for water, sewer, and stormwater are sufficient to accommodate any infill development
  • Install signage to identify historic areas such as Oaklette, Queen City, Norfolk Highlands, Seminole Park, and Foundation Park
    Community and Environment
  • Incentivize tree preservation and planting
  • Preserve, restore, and expand riparian/shoreline buffer vegetation 
  • Reach out to homeowners about restoration and flood mitigation funding such as Virginia Conservation Assistance Fund, Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund, the Elizabeth River River Star Program, and other such programs.  
  • Educate homeowners on the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area
  • Install “wayfinding” signage along Military Highway to show direction to local destinations such as Community Center, Library, Rokeby Center, Indian River Park, Conference Center, etc.
  • Identify bus stops that need improvement and increase bus frequency 
    Open Space and Greenways
  • Create a “civic campus” including the Indian River High School, Community Center, Middle School, Chesapeake Center for Student Success, and Library with the lake at its center
  • Complete Blue Heron Landing Park, develop a trail management plan and add amenities at Indian River Park, and create an overlook at Plymouth Park
  • Establish a network of “greenways” along  Indian River neighborhoods streets including sidewalks, bikeways and green stormwater infrastructure
  • Create a bike route along Lilac Ave. and crosswalk at Lilac Ave. and Indian River Road to provide link from Indian River Road bike paths and Blue Heron Park to Rokeby Ave. and Indian River Park
  • Provide a safe pedestrian and bicycle crossing at Rokeby Ave. and Military Highway to connect to Indian River Park
This is Agenda Item K - PLN-COMP-2021-002.

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